Update info

Updated every Friday.

Friday, November 27, 2015

November 27, 2015

What happened this week?

Costa Rica. Three shelters (San Ramon, Guanacaste, and Upala) that can house 470 people have been set up. Shelters are being prepared preventatively. A total of 1,996 migrants are housed in 11 shelters. The government has developed a comprehensive care plan. The Ministry of Culture and Youth is preparing leisure and recreation events... Read more 

  • Floods in the St. Lawrence municipality, Suchitepéquez department: Floods caused damages to some homes due to the overflow of the Xeleca River. INSIVUMEH reported that approximately five rivers in the country (Polochic, Chixoy, La Pasion, Unsumacinta, and Motagua) exceeded their levels. Authorities forecast flash floods... Read more 
  • Floods in Panzós municipality, Alta Verapaz department: 3, 190 people were affected by floods in several communities caused by the Polochic River... Read more 

Mexico. Earthquake in Guerrero. A 5.8 magnitude earthquake was recorded in Mexico City, the epicenter was 44 km northeast of San Marcos, Guerrero with a depth of 10.0 km; it was felt as a 5.4 magnitude quake in Mexico City. So far, there have been no reports of damage... Read more

Panama. Rains in Chiriquí. 15 homes were affected in the province by rainfall, and the storm drain system collapsed. Landslides affected the drainage system, but SINAPROC has removed the debris. The district of Boquete was the most affected. The alert for rainfall remains... Read more

Paraguay. The Parana River rose higher than forecasted with a height of 4.40 meters. About 25 families were evacuated from the flooded areas and relocated to various shelters.  Rains and storms are forecasted in the north and will extend to various departments... Read more

Interesting Facts

UN: Weather-Related Disasters Occur Almost Daily. The United Nations report, called "The Human Cost of Weather Related Disasters," found there were an average of 335 weather-related disasters annually between 2005 and August this year, up 14 percent from 1995-2004 and almost twice as many as in the years from 1985 to 1994... Read more

Earthquake App Makes Seismic Data Easy to Digest. The free app — Temblor — is designed to help people who are unaware of the precise seismic environment where they live... Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Latin America and the Caribbean should make risk management an integral part of agricultural planning. The adoption of innovations as well as support for, and the organization of, social actors are some of the actions that can be implemented to make farming a more secure and profitable economic activity... Read more

Towards the Sustainability of the Caribbean Sea through Dialogue and Cooperation. The Greater Caribbean Region’s reliance on the Caribbean Sea to derive social, economic, cultural, climatic, aesthetic and other benefits has also been the catalyst for the development of a number of debilitating phenomena on the sustainability of the marine environment... Read more

Friday, November 20, 2015

November 20, 2015

Investing in Disaster Risk Management at the local level: competing with pressing social needs. 

By Pablo González, Paula Jara and Daniela Hidalgo

Every day we are exposed to a wide range of threats to our physical integrity, our lives and livelihoods; from natural hazards to diseases and even traffic accidents. Nevertheless, the actual disruption in someone’s life comes when our ability to face the threat is overwhelmed. In short, we do not have the capacity to cope with the manifestation of the given hazard. So, in order to assess the risk that any hazard poses to us, we need to understand our exposure and degree of vulnerability and our capacity to deal with it. Understanding the hazard, its typology, is critical but not enough... Read more 

What happened this week?

Bolivia, City of Trinidad, Department of Beni. A large fire consumed 95% of a market in Villa Corina. The fire started at 5am local time, at least 500 families were affected and economic losses are substantial. At least three injuries were reported. Firefighters were able to eventually control the fire using water tanker trucks from private companies... Read more  

Brazil, Mariana, Minas Gerais. The Minas Gerais Fire Department reported that four more bodies were found in areas affected by the landslide due to the failure of the dam in Fundão and Santarém, district of Bento Rodrigues, in Mariana, in the central region of Minas, which happened on November 5. Seven victims have already been identified; this now raises the number to 11 recovered bodies... Read more 

Paraguay. Floods in the Ciudad del Este, Alto Paraná. Rains continue causing overflow and flooding in several areas of Alto Paraná. Homes as well as Lake República were reported flooded..Read more 

Panama, Region of Kuna Yala. The overflowing of the river in Playón Grande in the region of Kuna Yala, 20 houses have been affected, an unknown number of people were moved to a temporary shelter in Playón, Chico... Read more 

Guatemala. Floods in the municipality of Panzós, department of Alta Verapaz: Residents and homes have been affected by the floods caused by the rains of the last few hours due to the flooding of the Polochic River, CONRED reported... Read more 

Interesting Facts

Scientists discover the cause behind prehistoric climate change. Scientists now know why the climate underwent dramatic changes at the end of the last Ice Age... Read more

An Earthquake Response System That's Faster Than 911. The One Concern algorithm predicts which parts of the city will be hit hardest to get them help first... Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

ACS concludes the 18th intersessional preparatory meeting of the ministerial council. The Association of Caribbean States (ACS) convened the 18th Intersessional Preparatory Meeting for the 21st Ordinary Meeting of the Ministerial Council on 17th November 2015 at the Hilton Hotel, Port of Spain, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The Honourable Dennis Moses, Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs of the Host Country, addressed representatives of the Member and Associate Member Countries of the ACS... Read more

The volcano that changed the course of disaster risk management. The head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Margareta Wahlström, described the eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano which claimed 25,000 lives in Colombia on November 13, 1985, as “a major turning point in the history of disaster risk management”... Read more

Chile sign agreement on disaster reduction, management. The Philippines signed a memorandum of understanding in Malacañang with the government of Chile for cooperation in disaster risk reduction and management... Read more

Friday, November 13, 2015

November 13, 2015

What happened this week?

Panama. Heavy rains affected the water treatment in Algarrobos and Bugaba in the province of Chiriquí. 60,000 people in the province of Chiriquí and Bocas de Toro have been left without drinking water for more than four days. The EOC has been activated to offer assistance with bottled water and cisterns by Presidency of the Republic, IDAAN, and SINAPROC. Service is expected to be restored today. Bridges were also affected in the district of Barú in the province of Chiriquí preventing the passage of 35 families. School activities have been suspended in the affected areas... Read More

Colombia. Timbiquí in the department of Cauca has been affected by floods, leaving three bridges, buildings, nine schools, and rural roads damaged. Food shortages, transportation difficulties, and loss of crops and animals were also caused by the floods. The municipalities of Guapi, Piedmont, and Timiquí were on red alert due to 50 hours of nonstop rains. The mayor of Cauca reported 6,200 families affected, 149 homes damaged and another 15 that were completely destroyed. Humanitarian aid has begun to be offered... Read More

Brazil. An avalanche was caused by the breakdown of two dams containing mining waste. Two people are dead, and so far 25 are missing. Due to the mineral clay deposits released by the rupture, it is expected that water supply for approximately 500 people will be affected... Read More

Interesting Facts

UT researchers develop advanced flood warning system. A team of researchers from UT are working to create a better flash flood warning system to warn people faster during an emergency... Read More

How Drones Are Changing Humanitarian Disaster Response. While so much of the news coverage about drones lately has focused on their negatives, like interfering with air traffic and the use of armed drones, they have also quietly been finding far more positive application in the humanitarian sector... Read More

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Great sadness at the death of Osvaldo Canziani. Dr. Canziani died on the night of Thursday, October 29. He was a researcher of the climate with outstanding participation in international agencies and professional speaker. During his intense activity, Canziani warned again and again on the responsibility of citizens, agencies and countries to tackle global warming. It is also necessary to point out  his contribution on the progress of the knowledge and development of meteorological systems... Read More

PADF and Taiwan train next generation of first responders in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 106 youth graduated from an 18-month training program to help them prepare for and respond to natural disasters and the effects of climate change... Read More

PADF/Royal Caribbean Cruises to Improve Water Access and Sanitation in North Haiti. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. granted $300,000 to PADF to provide access to clean water and improve sanitation in Labadee Village on the north coast of Haiti... Read More

Friday, November 6, 2015

November 6, 2015

What happened this week?

United States of America. Flooding – Southern Plains. The heaviest rainfall has ended across south-central Texas where 36-hour rain totals were 14-18” between the Austin and San Antonio area. River flooding and flash flooding impacts improve slowly as a drying trend develops. 10 -30 homes reported damaged due to severe weather in Harris County, TX. 1 fatality, 2 missing citizens as a result of flooding and 5 shelters are open with 101 occupants in Texas... Read More

Costa Rica. Turrialba Volcano Activity: An eruption that was 700m high and as a precautionary measure, a two km radius has been put in place to restrict visitors. Alerts have been declared in the event of an eruption and ash fall...  Read More

  • Department of Bolivar, Montecristo municipality. The Tibona gorge overflowed causing an avalanche that destroyed 127 homes, affected 1051 families (5000 people), and left at least one person missing. Temporary shelters have already been established in surrounding area... Read More
  • Department of Cauca: An avalanche caused by overflowing rivers Napi and San Francisco affected 17 communities and approximately 1068 families (5340 people). Pending the needs assessment, a crisis room has been implemented and a declaration of public calamity has been made by authorities... Read More
  • Timibiquí municipality: Vereda Cotaje: Overflowing of the Timbiquí River led to flooding of the town, Renacer Negro. The media has estimated that about 900 people were affected, at least 3 homes were destroyed, and an unknown number of homes flooded. The population took refuge in the church community... Read More
Mexico. A landslide occurred in Santa Fe, which resulted in the evacuation of 116 people from a residential complex, damage was seen in electrical infrastructure, and power was lost for 2,870 people. So far no injuries were reported... Read More

Interesting Facts

Hurricane Patricia.  Why a record storm did surprisingly little damage... Read More

Two Degrees: Do ice ages debunk climate science? Ice ages have come and gone many times in Earth's history. What accounts for the Earth's current rapid warming trend?... Read More

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

How Mexico handled Patricia.
It's an sign of Mexico’s progress... Read More

Resilient private sector key for Sendai success. Efforts to ensure that businesses play a key role in curbing disaster risk have passed a new milestone with the debut of the UNISDR Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies... Read More